Anadolu University Distance Education System From Emercence to 21st Century

Prof. Dr. Ali Ekrem OZKUL

For human beings education is a tool to develop abilities and exploit opportunities in the society. By creating new possibilities in the field of education, democratizing the educational process, providing lifelong education opportunities, distance education is a strategic opportunity for nations in improving the educational services. Distance education is also strategic to the 21st century university. It provides students with access, independent of place and time, to learning programs, resources, and services, including interaction among faculty and students, through synchronous and asynchronous technologies. As a developing country with considerable economic and cultural potential, education is vitally important issue for Turkey. Parallel to the population growth, the demand for all types of education is increasing whereas the resources such as schools and teachers are limited and not possible to reach to adequate levels in short period of time. Therefore it seems quite difficult for Turkey to achieve an overall education level required by a modern society using conventional educational approaches and techniques. Anadolu University Open Education System is the major attempt in Turkey in integrating the distance education approaches with national education system. Since the involvement to distance education in 1982 as a dual university, the institution contributed more than 190 000 bachelor and pre-bachelor graduates to the country. Although considered as one of the mega universities of the world Anadolu University is also least known institution among the similar institutions.